10 Steps to Hiring Exceptional Hotel Staff

Hiring hotel staff

Industry-leading customer service begins and ends with great people. Hiring staff who can present your hotel in the right light is vital when it comes to having a smooth-running, impressive experience for guests. Members of the team who make processes work behind the scenes, those who keep the hotel standards up and the front of house staff can all make or break customers’ experiences.

While many skills can be taught or picked up, the following factors will help you to ensure you are hiring hotel staff that are more than competent, offer quality service and help take the business to the next level.

Hiring hotel staff that will benefit your brand

Here are Modern Hospitality’s pointers, helping you to hire the right staff, and avoid costly recruitment mistakes:

1. Know what you want when hiring hotel staff

Before the recruitment process begins, you should know exactly which roles you are looking to fill and what the responsibilities of each will be. Consider the jobs which need doing to deliver the required level of service and make sure there are enough staff to carry every task out. From receptionists and concierge staff to chefs, bar staff and managers, you need to understand how each will fit into your hotel’s processes and maximise guest satisfaction.

2. Hire on personality as well as experience

It is rare that you will interview a potential employee who has every single attribute and piece of experience you require. Try implementing the WETCO approach when interviewing, placing importance on warmth, empathy, teamwork, conscientiousness and optimism. If a member of the team has these attributes, they should be able to learn on the job, while having all the necessary personality traits to create a fantastic experience for guests. It is a lot easier to train somebody in specific roles than it is to get them to change their mannerisms, outlook, or be more personable.

Look at long-term prospects for new team members, for example, if you require your reception staff to work closely with specific systems, somebody who is familiar with picking up new computer skills may be better suited than somebody who has worked behind a reception desk for 10 years, but is not able to use computers effectively. With 4.1 positions advertised for every 100 hotel employees, it’s important to know exactly what you are looking for in a candidate before the process begins.

3. Create a job description

There is no point in creating a generic job description. If you’re not detailed in your job description, potential employees won’t know what the role includes, and you may hire somebody who is not capable of fulfilling specific tasks which you failed to mention during the interview process. Get creative with job descriptions, adding your brand’s personality wherever possible to make your job description stand out. Creating a job description that excites readers will increase the number of applications and work to capture the attention of more skilled candidates.

4. Advertise in the right places

You can have the best role and job description in the world, but if it’s not reaching your target audience, it won’t bring you the right employees. Alongside well-known platforms such as LinkedIn and Indeed, consider hospitality-specific websites to target more qualified professionals, or even contacting nearby colleges and universities to find graduates.

5. Create a candidate-friendly application

Your job application must be user-friendly, optimised for mobile use and not too time-consuming. While it’s important to get lots of information, poorly designed, inaccessible applications can lose high-quality candidates. Collect all required information so you can determine if a candidate has the potential to work at your hotel, but save some of the more in-depth questions for the interviews.

6. Assess candidates

When meeting candidates, make sure you ask interview questions that will give you a deeper understanding of how they work, as well as anything else you need to know, such as what soft skills they might have. Bear in mind the characteristics your best-performing employees have and pay attention to whether or not candidates share the same attributes. Make notes throughout interviews, whether it’s on the phone, online or in person.

7. Be honest with candidates

If you choose a candidate to work for you, they must have realistic expectations of what to expect, otherwise, it won’t work. Likewise, if you choose to not hire a candidate, let them know and even offer constructive criticism. By doing this, people will be able to develop their skills and you’ll be able to keep a positive relationship with them. Leaving a great impression means you can keep their CV on file, offering future job opportunities if you would like to.

hiring hotel staff

8. Collect all necessary information

Ask similar, standardised questions to all candidates, helping you to compare them to each other where necessary. Make sure a lot of your questions are open-ended, creating conversation. Examples of this include “Tell me about your biggest achievement in your career so far”, “What does industry-leading customer service look like to you?” and “Give me an example of how you’ve dealt with an unhappy guest before”.

9. Check references when hiring hotel staff

As part of the application, you should always request contacts to obtain a reference from. Take time to speak to each reference, discussing the candidate’s work ethic, traits, and whether they would say they are a good fit for the role you are trying to fill. This can help you to determine whether they are the right employee for your hotel.

10. Design effective onboarding and training

Once a successful candidate accepts a job offer, there is still more to be done. They must now be settled in and trained effectively. Designing processes for new members of the team to become familiar with the business and the way it runs is important in making sure they understand their role and are confident in their responsibilities. Good communication throughout employees’ careers means they remain happy in their position and you can also use this feedback to continuously improve as a business.

Implement these 10 top tips next time you are looking to recruit new members of the team and see how your hotel benefits from long-lasting, well-suited staff.